Kawere’s footwork lessons made me special - Kalule

World Beaters. Kalule (L) and Kyambadde were Kawere’s students since the 70s. They called the deceased trainer a super coach. PHOTO/A.N SSEMUGABI

Former world champion Ayub Kalule said legendary boxing coach Tom Kawere’s lessons on footwork improved his skillset and impacted his illustrious career.
“I first met Tom around 1969 when I was first called to the national team,” Kalule recalls. “He used to tell us that footwork is an integral skill for any boxer, yet few master it. He took time to ensure I perfect it and it would determine my style throughout my career.”

Kawere, died on Sunday, nearly 100 years old, and will forever be remembered as the grandfather of Ugandan boxing. Not only because he won a silver medal at the 1958 Empire (Commonwealth) Games—the first by an East African boxer at an international event, but he also dedicated his entire life to sharing his skills with others.
Kawere, who did athletics, football and cricket, would always brag about how his dancing skills enhanced his boxing and overall sports performance.

Speaking out
Kalule, who won gold at the World Amateur Championships in Havana as a light welterweight and at the Commonwealth Games in Christchurch, Newzealand, both in 1974, 1974 attests:
“I remember even when I had gone professional, trainers and opponents would praise my movements but few knew that it was thanks to Tom.”
Kalule was expected to replicate that form at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, Canada, but turned professional months before the Games, which were later boycotted by African nations due to the inclusion of apartheid South Africa.

Historic Tales. In 1979, Kalule defeated Japanese Masashi Kudo to win the Lineal and WBA Junior middleweight titles. David Kawuuzi Kyambadde, who learnt boxing under Kawere’s tutelage at Namilyango College in the 70s, added: “Tom would always tell us ‘don’t stress against your opponent, boxing is a game. Just hit, move, relax…He was a super coach.” Kawere was buried in Bubuule, on Masaka Road last week.


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